Frequently Asked Questions About Mobile VoIP
Since mobile VoIP and VoIP over 3G are relatively new technologies many have questions about what the service is, how the service works, where the service works and who provides this service. Below you will find a compilation of the most frequently asked questions about mobile VoIP and VoIP over 3G. Over time we will look to expand this list so if you happen to have a question about mobile VoIP or VoIP over 3G that is not yet listed, please feel free to contact us and we will not only answer your question, but add it to the list below.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over IP is commonly defined as the communications technology that allows you to make phone calls over the Internet. VoIP, however, is not just about making calls over the Internet, VoIP calls can be made over any IP network, such as a home or office LAN (Local Area Network). In addition to a hard-wire network, VoIP calls can also be made via a wireless network or even via a cellular phone’s data network. Due to this, the future of free VoIP calling is in allowing individuals the ability to send and receive calls via an IP network from their mobile phones. This is referred to as Mobile VoIP.
What is Mobile VoIP?
Mobile VoIP is a communication technology by which am individual is able to send and receive phone calls via a mobile or cellular phone’s Internet connection. Typically, when making or receiving a call on a mobile or cellular phone, you are utilizing your carriers voice network. With mobile VoIP service, you are using a third party mobile VoIP service provider and your calls are transported via an available wireless network or via your cellular carriers data network (this is known as Vo3G or Voice over 3G). Because of this, you are not using your plan’s “minutes”, nor are you subject to your cellular carriers long distance charges (although you do have to pay an applicable charges to your mobile VoIP provider). This is one of the biggest benefits of mobile VoIP service since the price you pay to send and receive calls via your mobile VoIp provider are typically much lower than using your cellular carrier.
What is Vo3G?
Vo3G stands for Voice over 3G. Voice over 3G refers to the utilizing the 3G cellular data network network to send and receive calls, rather than using the cellular carriers voice network. With Vo3G, their is no need for the cellular handset to have WiFi capabilities, which makes mobile VoIP calling accessible to many more people, since most cellular phones do not have WiFi capabilities. Analysts predict that Voice over 3G usage will eclipse that of Voice over WiFi by 2012.
What is FMC?
FMC or Fixed Mobile Convergence is a communications technology that allows for a seamless hand-off between cellular carriers, PSTN and fixed wireless networks. Fixed Mobile Convergence is an important trend in technology as it represents the integration of networks that were previously separated, allowing for users to move from network to network, without the hassle of ending, re-starting or losing a call or data connection. With Fixed Mobile Convergence, an individual would be able to be on a cellular phone call during the ride into the office and once they arrive at the office, they would not have to continue the call on the cellular network, but would be able to seamlessly “hop-on” to the office wireless network. This could also be extended to allowing a user to use multiple devices on multiple networks while still being on the same call.
Can you really make FREE calls with Mobile VoIP?
Yes you can make FREE VoIP calls, although every call you make is not FREE. Typically mobile VoIP providers allow users to make free calls between users of their service and also within country calls. It is not uncommon for a mobile VoIP providers to offer their users free calling within their country of residence (I.E. Free US, Free Canada, Free UK calling).
How much do Mobile VoIP or Vo3G services cost?
The cost of mobile VoIP and Vo3G service varies based on providers, but with mobile VoIP and Vo3G services, there is no fee to get started (download and install), nor is there a monthly fee. Mobile VoIP and V03G services are typically billed on a per minute basis and rates vary based on what country and type of phone you are calling to.
Where can I use Mobile VoIP services?
You can use mobile VoIP services anywhere you have an available WiFi or 3G data connection. In addition to an available WiFi or 3G network, you will also need a cellular or mobile phone that supports WiFi and or 3G networks.
Who offers mobile VoIP service?
There are over a dozen companies that currently offer mobile VoIP service such as MobiVox, Truphone and RebTel. For a more extensive list, checkout our mobile VoIP service provider reviews and our mobile VoIP provider comparison pages for more information on the companies that offer mobile VoIP services.
Do all mobile or cellular phones support Mobile VoIP services?
No. Not all mobile VoIP services work with all cellular phones. To make certain that your cellular phone will work with mobile VoIP, contact your preferred mobile VoIP service provider prior. In general cellular handsets that feature WiFi capabilities and support for 3G networks can be utilized with mobile VoIP services. The Nokia N and E series cellular phones are also widely supported, but again, to be certain, make sure you check with your mobile VoIP service provider to avoid any issues.
Do I have to install anything in order to use a Mobile VoIP service?
The answer to this depends on which mobile VoIP service provider your are using. Many providers will require you to download and install an application on your cellular phone. Some providers, however, offer their services without the need to download and install any applications as they are accessible via the phone’s web browser. For more information on what is required to get started, make sure you contact your provider.
How is call quality effected by the use of these services?
If you have a good connection, there should be no notable difference in call quality, in fact many report that call quality can sometimes be better than the usual cellular call. However, because you have to content with both signal strength and the amount of bandwidth available (on the IP network), there is an increased likely hood of dropped or lost calls, choppy, latency and jitter due to “packet-loss” as a result of the dynamics of IP base calling. As the technology continues to improve and additional bandwidth is made available at an affordable cost, these downfalls of mobile VoIP calling will become less apparent. Within the next five years, many mobile VoIP service providers will be supporting HD (high definition) voice.